Even If: How do we trust God when things go sideways?

Festoon-lightingI recently heard a song that could have been written about a season in my life. The lyrics perfectly describe a situation that I went through over a decade ago…but whose reality still grips my heart. It’s a song by the band, MercyMe and it’s called ‘Even If’.

Verse 1:

They say, ‘Sometimes you win some / Sometimes you lose some.’

And right now, right now I’m losing bad.

I’ve stood on this stage night after night, reminding the broken it’ll be alright,

But right now, right now I just can’t.

It’s easy to sing when there’s nothing to bring me down.

But what will I sing when I’m held to the flame like I am right now?

 

My husband and I were just a couple years into blending our family. Things had been challenging in every arena but our love and gratitude for this fresh new start was high.

And then the bottom fell out. We were taken to court by someone who wanted to see us fail. This person slandered us, sent us threatening letters, and attacked our character, our finances and the peace in our home. I can’t go into more detail than that, but suffice it to say that the months leading up to the day in court were fraught with anxiety and fear.

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Would you take my suggestion?: The true test of respect

take-my-suggestionI love to make suggestions.  I feel really happy when I suggest a restaurant to someone and they try it and have a great experience.  I will go to great pains to passionately describe why someone should try a certain restaurant, or book or check out a podcast that I have listened to.  And it bothers me to no end when the person I am trying to convince gives me the impression that they don’t have an interest in trying out my suggestion.  I have often thought about why this bothers me so much. What do I care if they miss out on a fabulous meal or a marvelously written book? It’s their loss, right? But it does bother me.  A lot!

In giving this thought, I realize that I am bothered simply because I care.  I want the people in my life to have every great experience I have had and I want to be able to share in that with them. For instance, when a friend comes back to me after having read a book or listened to a podcast I recommended, and they gush about how amazing it was, we now have something deeper to share.  We now have a common experience that we can talk about. I also have the joy in my heart of knowing that my recommendation added value to my friend’s life in some small way.

So did you know that in the Bible God has made countless recommendations that add value to our lives? Not only does He have the most intimate knowledge of what is best for us, But He knows what we will enjoy, what will keep us free from misery, and what will feed our souls. Out of this most intimate knowledge of us, He recommends actions and behaviors.

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